AP

WHO, CDC: A record 40 million kids miss measles vaccine dose

Nov 22, 2022, 8:15 PM | Updated: Nov 23, 2022, 10:37 am

A registered nurse and immunization outreach coordinator with the Knox County Health Department, ad...

A registered nurse and immunization outreach coordinator with the Knox County Health Department, administers a vaccination to a kid at the facility in Mount Vernon, Ohio, Friday May 17, 2019. In a report issued Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say measles immunization has dropped significantly since the coronavirus pandemic began, resulting in a record high of nearly 40 million children missing a vaccine dose last year. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File)

(AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File)

LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say measles immunization has dropped significantly since the coronavirus pandemic began, resulting in a record high of nearly 40 million children missing a vaccine dose last year.

In a report issued Wednesday, the WHO and the CDC said millions of children were now susceptible to measles, among the world’s most contagious diseases. In 2021, officials said there were about 9 million measles infections and 128,000 deaths worldwide.

The WHO and CDC said continued drops in vaccination, weak disease surveillance and delayed response plans due to COVID-19, in addition to ongoing outbreaks in more than 20 countries, mean that “measles is an imminent threat in every region of the world.”

Scientists estimate that at least 95% of a population needs to be immunized to protect against epidemics; the WHO and the CDC reported that only about 81% of children receive their first dose of measles vaccine while 71% get their second dose, marking the lowest global coverage rates of the first measles dose since 2008.

“The record number of children under-immunized and susceptible to measles shows the profound damage immunization systems have sustained during the COVID-19 pandemic,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

Measles is mostly spread through direct contact or in the air and causes symptoms including fever, muscle pain and a skin rash on the face and upper neck. Most measles-related deaths are caused by complications including swelling of the brain and dehydration. The WHO says serious complications are most serious in children under five and adults over 30.

More than 95% of measles deaths occur in developing countries, mostly in Africa and Asia. There is no specific treatment for measles, but the two-dose vaccine against it is about 97% effective in preventing severe illness and death.

In July, the U.N. said 25 million children have missed out on routine immunizations against diseases including diphtheria, largely because the coronavirus disrupted routine health services or triggered vaccine misinformation.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Photo: Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Melinda French Gates speaks at the forum Emp...

Michelle Chapman and Thalia Beaty, The Associated Press

Melinda French Gates to donate $1 billion over next 2 years in support of women’s rights

Melinda French Gates said she will be donating $1B to individuals and organizations working on behalf of women and families globally.

11 hours ago

Photo: Basketball Hall of Fame legend Bill Walton laughs during a practice session for the NBA All-...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Bill Walton, Hall of Fame player who became a star broadcaster, dies at 71

Bill Walton, who became a Hall of Famer for his NBA career and one of the biggest stars in basketball broadcasting, died Monday.

2 days ago

Photo: A shopper moves past a display of items in a Costco warehouse Saturday, May 18, 2024....

Associated Press

What’s open and closed on Memorial Day

Businesses increasingly have chosen to stay open on the holiday, leading to what is now one of the biggest retail sales weekends of the year.

2 days ago

Image:A portrait of Officer Vancouver Police Department officer Donald Sahota is displayed as he is...

The Associated Press

Man convicted of murder in death of Vancouver police officer shot by deputy

A Yakima man was found guilty of murder for his role in the death of a Vancouver police officer who was shot by a sheriff's deputy in error.

4 days ago

Image:The headquarters of Live Nation is shown June 29, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California. The Jus...

Associated Press

Government sues Ticketmaster owner and asks court to break up company’s monopoly on live events

The DOJ has accused Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation Entertainment of running an illegal monopoly over live events in America.

6 days ago

Image: Ambulances are seen at the airport where a London-Singapore flight that encountered severe t...

Associated Press

World news roundup: Man dies after turbulence; Iran funerals; Israel media law

A Singapore Airlines flight hit severe turbulence over the Indian Ocean and descended 6,000 feet in a span of about three minutes.

8 days ago

WHO, CDC: A record 40 million kids miss measles vaccine dose